The opportunity to map the floods also gave me an idea for how to solve a map I had volunteered to make for NACIS 2012 in Portland, OR. Which is next week! Wahoo. The map is part of a collaborative project that some of the NACIS organizers put together. They sent a call for volunteers to map a tile in what is going to be a cartographic quilt. The Portland Urban Growth Boundary, UGB, was divided into tiles. Each tile was assigned to a naive volunteer cartographer. The tiles are shown here:
My solution to avoid collecting transportation or other infrastructure data across state lines was to map the Missoula Floods. As mentioned, the high water mark in the Portland area is estimated to be about 400′ above current sea level.
All of the color map images in this post are from the map tile I created for that corner. I hadn’t opened Photoshop for a map project in a while, so it was fun to brush up on rusty skills, if not entirely effective map making.
There are some basic Photoshop techniques that played into creating this map. Patterns were used for the ground, ice, grass, and trees shown in the examples. The ‘Pattern Maker’ was successful for the ground/rock layer and the grass layer.
The ice layer looks a little too cloud like to me, especially close up, but I think it works OK at the intended resolution. The trees were given depth with both a slight drop shadow and bevel to the layer in PS. The sources for the patterns were gleaned from various air photos in Bing maps.
The water texture comes from a blank layer with filter->render->clouds applied and then filter->sketch->chrome. Add some color and you’re good. I based the process on a few internet tutorials including this one. There is a simple hillshade and DEM under the flood layer to hint at depth.
The only reference to current physical geography (aside from the DEM being current data!) is the path of the Columbia River. It is severely muted. I think this would be too muted for the map on its own, but as a tile in a larger map, I think it will effectively continue the path of the river. I have to imagine that the others will highlight the river more than I have here, and hopefully create contrast between the river and floods that happened 13k-15k years ago.
Here is the whole tile, low res. I have left off scale and N arrow because this map will be combined with several others, and I think there will probably be a master scale and orientation to the whole thing. Annotation was kept minimal and muted to try not to conflict too much with other tiles which may or may not include text. I will try to post a copy of the entire quilt if I can after NACIS. We’ll see.
Since this is PNW pt.2, we need to add the lake and flood to our extentPNW map. Part one highlighted the cultural borders of the Oregon Country and the State of Jefferson. Those are still shown here with the addition of the Missoula Lake and Floods. The floods do not stretch the extent of the PNW as mapped, but certainly contribute to an understanding of an extraordinary historical event that connects much of the area.
PNW Music Bonus!
Here is a little music from PNW band Finn Riggins. A great band from Boise. This tune seems appropriate for the theme of the Missoula Floods
For more about the floods I encourage you to check out ‘Cataclysms on the Columbia’, a great overview of the Missoula floods.